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Getting 15.6V on Circuits That Should Have No Power - Why???

Getting 15.6V on Circuits That Should Have No Power - Why???

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  #1  
Old 07-10-07, 09:09 AM
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Getting 15.6V on Circuits That Should Have No Power - Why???

I am showing 15.6 volts on my outlet hot wires, even though power is not on that circuit.

Here's the background.

I have just put in a new room in my basement. The room has 6 outlets around the perimeter and 10 "can" lights in the ceiling on 2 switches.

All electrical is run in conduit and the hot wire comes from a 20A circuit and all wiring is 12ga. solid copper. All is installed in metal boxes.

All commons are twisted tightly together and wire nutted.

I used a blue wire for one light circuit, a yellow wire for the 2nd light circuit, and black for the wall outlets.

When I have the lights on in the room, I get 15.6 V showing on the black wire for all of my wall outlets.

Because all of this is now behind sheetrock, and several of the runs are through flexible whips, it is impossible to pull out or pull back any of the wires.

What is going on, and what are possible solutions?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-10-07, 10:06 AM
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What is "going on" is that you are using a digital voltmeter. Digital voltmeters are extremely sensitive and will display "phantom" voltages. People that use digital voltmeters everyday understand this phenomenom and compensate.

For DIYers I strongly recommend the use of a solenoid-type voltage tester.


Your comment about it being impossible to pull out the wiring from the conduit bothers me. Why can't it be pulled from the conduit?
 
  #3  
Old 07-10-07, 10:20 AM
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furd answered your question. Put away your digital voltmeter. You do not know how to interpret the results, at least not for electrical wiring.

I too am disturbed by your comment about the wiring. You (hopefully) installed the wiring AFTER the conduit and all boxes were in place, so you should be able to remove it just as easily. Please don't tell me you glued conduit with wires already through it.

Also, your comment about twisting all the commons together is a concern as well. If you have ONE circuit breaker you should have one common. If you split the circuit at any point and have more than one common then those commons must be kept separate from the split point onward.
 
  #4  
Old 07-10-07, 10:35 AM
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Does the power go to the receptacles first then the switch(s) then the lights? Impossible to know what you did. I'm not even sure of your question. Are you saying you have power to the receptacles but it is only 15V or are you saying you have not connected power to the receptacles and they read 15V? Is this with the switches off or on? Try plugging a light into the receptacle then read the voltage. Does the light glow dimly?
 
  #5  
Old 07-12-07, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by nasttcar View Post
I am showing 15.6 volts on my outlet hot wires, even though power is not on that circuit.

Here's the background.

I have just put in a new room in my basement. The room has 6 outlets around the perimeter and 10 "can" lights in the ceiling on 2 switches.

All electrical is run in conduit and the hot wire comes from a 20A circuit and all wiring is 12ga. solid copper. All is installed in metal boxes.

All commons are twisted tightly together and wire nutted.

I used a blue wire for one light circuit, a yellow wire for the 2nd light circuit, and black for the wall outlets.

When I have the lights on in the room, I get 15.6 V showing on the black wire for all of my wall outlets.

Because all of this is now behind sheetrock, and several of the runs are through flexible whips, it is impossible to pull out or pull back any of the wires.

What is going on, and what are possible solutions?



Sounds like your about to cash in on your fire insurance policy ....
 
  #6  
Old 07-13-07, 12:29 PM
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My suggestion is to explain how you wired this starting from the distribuiton panel. Tell us how the wires were connected by color and device.

roger
 
  #7  
Old 07-13-07, 01:34 PM
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It's been six days, I have a feeling that nasttcar isn't returning. Maybe I scared him off.
 
  #8  
Old 07-13-07, 03:33 PM
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If you're using the Gregorian calendar, it's only been three days. So maybe you didn't scare him that badly.
 
  #9  
Old 07-13-07, 03:49 PM
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or else a claims adjuster is visiting the rubble..........

that sounded bad.....
 
  #10  
Old 07-13-07, 04:46 PM
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Talking

Six days / three days...hoo boy, I gotta learn how to subtract.

Or maybe I just need to wear my glasses when trying to read the dates.
 
  #11  
Old 07-13-07, 05:05 PM
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Carefull

You don't want to hurt any feelings.
I'm sure the OP is collecting the required info, so we can all get it right.

I think they had the right idea with different colors for each ckt.
Now we must wait for the ckt config. before going further.
 
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